Just over five months have passed since Abu Dhabi, precisely 161 days between the test in the Emirates and yesterday’s in Spain. Since that evening, Max Verstappen he had no longer been the leader of the championship. It took him six races to regain that first position that he absolutely wants to defend, that primacy that he holds today despite him, always good to remember, he has a withdraw more than the rival. But there are even more victoriesfour against two, and this is enough to tell about one Red Bull who won yesterday on a Sunday when there seemed to be everything to lose. Be careful to underestimate this victory: these are the successes that, in the end, they make a difference. After all, the list of hitches is long and varied: a problem with the Drs in the decisive lap of the qualifying, an untested start from the pits (Max left the pit lane a few seconds before it closed because the mechanics took all the time possible for analysis), an exit in the gravel and a mobile wing that worked intermittently in the race on a track where overtaking is always complicated.
Well, winning with this series of unexpected events is heavy stuff, it’s a wild card played perfectly on a Sunday that promised more, and much less from the point of view of results. Instead, victory, double and fastest lap (with Perez). With the first, real tear in the Constructors ranking: now it is +26 after being at -44 after just one race. They make 70 round points taken in five races, not a little. And it’s not Red Bull’s fault though Sainz continues to waste: evidently, in addition to undoubtedly very heavy pressure, there is also a way to make the number two driver who in Red Bull, unlike in Ferrari (but it is not necessarily the fault or merit of the team), it works to wonder. This despite Sergio, after the race, did not spurt joy from every pore: understandable, if you have tasted a success that, given the flaws of the other car, it would have been legitimate to wish. But then common sense prevailed: Perez he could have tried to make Max’s life difficult despite the much more worn tires (Max had stopped seven laps later), especially if the Drs had continued to have a tantrum on car number 1, but what was the point? He would have risked a double at that safe point to throw himself into a duel that still saw him underdog as soon as the movable wing opened on the other car.
Explaining the need to have avoided an internal duel is always the least of the problems for a team, and it is right that the attention at Red Bull is turned to the car: because beyond the Spanish brace, something to review on the RB18 still there. Especially with this one Ferrari which, net of reliability, promises battle throughout the championship. It is not wrong to say that a duel similar to that of 2021 is on the horizon, with a precarious balance and a supremacy that can change from one track to another: what will count, in the end, will be defending that throne that Max Verstappen and the Red Bull with so many merits and so much effort they managed to win last year.
Verstappen praises the team: “Perfect strategy again”